The City Roasted Runners, a local running group, has banded together for the second year to fill 36 pairs of socks stuffed with goodies to give to the youth living on the streets in Red Deer through a program called Socks 4 Streetkids. The socks were donated to Street Ties yesterday.
“It feels wonderful because those kids are out there not only by their own choice – sometimes it’s a safer place to be than at home which is kind of sad, but it’s a true story that happens and some kids have just taken the wrong path. But a lot of times these kids get overlooked,” said Gail Hill, organizer of Socks 4 Streetkids. “It’s nice to let them know someone out there cares about them.”
Socks 4 Streetkids is a way to help out Red Deer’s homeless youth that Hill, a member of the City Roasted Runners, said will be an annual campaign.
The goal of Socks 4 Streetkids is to provide each youth a pair of warm winter socks filled with necessities as well as some goodies too.
Items that were included in the stockings this year were travel size shampoos, conditioners and lotions, nail clippers, band-aids, hair combs and brushes, oral care accessories, deodorant, mittens, hats, snack items, flashlights and headlamps as well as thermo mugs with hot chocolate and gift cards.
Hill is credited with bringing this program to Red Deer after participating in it in her previous hometown. “I worked for the City of Surrey for 20 years and with the women’s committee we did Socks 4 Streetkids. We did a few different programs but Socks 4 Streetkids was one of our big things at Christmas.”
After seeing the success of the program in B.C. Hill wanted to start it in Red Deer.
She relocated to Alberta a few years ago but it was last year that everything came together and worked out for the plan to come to fruition.
According to Hill the success of the program this year is due to the willingness of people to participate. “It is pretty amazing how many people want to do something and it’s an easy thing to do and it is fun to fill a stocking for somebody.”
After this year’s success Hill hopes to continue to spread holiday cheer to the youth living on Red Deer’s streets for years to come. “I feel this is going to be an annual event. It fits with our group quite well.”